“There’s nothing wrong with standing in a park listening to music with lots of other people. As such, there’s nothing essentially wrong with Occupy Festival— a two-day music festival in Chicago’s Union Park in mid-May. But essence aside, there’s reason to be wary.
The two-day open-air festival, planned for May 12-13 (purposefully, just in advance of Chicago’s NATO summit), is being organized autonomously by a group called Solid Clarity LLC, but won the endorsement of Occupy Chicago. Yet-unnamed “top international, national and local” musicians are slated to play across three stages. Half the profits will go to Occupy Chicago; a portion will go to a Catholic, faith-based social justice advocacy group in Chicago. Who will get the rest isn’t clear.
Festival organizers made an embarrassing early move (aside from using cringe-inducing phrases like “music – the heartbeat of our cultures”). They advertised VIP passes, with access to a private lounge, special viewing areas and more. An Occupy event with VIP tickets: The idea is truly laughable. Evidently, public responses made this more than clear. Just over a day after the VIP passes were announced in a press release, they were scrapped.
“There is no VIP or premium access … That was an oversight that was pretty big,” Grahan Czach, an organizer with Solid Clarity LLC, told RedEye Chicago.
However, that the idea was floated in the first place suggests that those behind Occupy Festival might not be familiar with the horizontalism underpinning Occupy organizing, despite Czach’s claim that they are “part of the movement.” It’s worth noting that standard-price tickets are already $35 for one day, $55 for two, which will exclude many Occupy supporters anyway.”
Interesting. Some people forget exactly how much of an ‘industry’ live music really is. Yeah our favorite artists are relatable and often remind us of equality, opportunity, hope, and revolution, but they are still subject to the all-powerful recording industry executives and massive ticketing giants like AEG Live. The good news is real music is free and can come from anyone, anywhere, anytime. That is the true beauty of it. The problem is that really GOOD music is going to cost you and the artists you love aren’t always the ones who will profit the most.